When is a $2 billion annual profit disappointing? Answer: When you’re a giant airline group like Lufthansa, and $2 billion amounts to a mere 5% operating margin—and that lackluster result comes despite fuel costs dropping 16% year over year. But there are a few signs of hope.
Meanwhile, American Airlines is purchasing a $200-million stake in China Southern. Frontier Airlines and Silver Airways are ending their short-lived Cuba service. And LATAM, still recovering from Brazil’s economic and currency collapse, is fighting two other battles—a cargo malaise and increased competition. Nonetheless, South America’s largest airline did enjoy improved annual profits year over year.